On my way to the FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington this morning, I chanced on the newest Tesla Motors electric car showroom, about to open its doors for the first time.

Two Roadsters were on display, accompanied by a Channel 5 news team about to go live.

In a tent around the corner sat the SpaceX Dragon space capsule that made the first flight to orbit and back in December in a first for a private company.

It’s clear the CEO of both companies, Elon Musk, likes things that go fast (the Roadster does 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds), but more than that, he’s working toward a future in which clean, renewable power dethrones King Petroleum and affordable, reliable access to space lets humanity expand off-planet.

Key to his plans is this electric muscle car that will hopefully pave the way for a more affordable sedan next year and this prototype space ship that will carry seven astronauts to orbit at a fraction of the cost of Space Shuttle and half the cost of the Russian Soyuz.